We are part of a really cool group of people that hang out to board game whenever possible. We also take turns hosting potlucks and dinner parties pretty regularly as well. One of those friends and his wife haven’t had 3 days in a row to themselves for more than 12 years! Holy moly! So I will be taking care of 3 kids from Friday morning through Sunday night…
How Did I Get Into Babysitting?
Well, our friend asked me about a month ago to see if anyone could babysit this coming weekend since his regular go-to sitters weren’t available. He has a 6 year old little girl, an 8 year old boy, and an 11 year old boy.
The only special circumstance is that the 11 year old is autistic, but he is actually the most laid back kid of the group. I’ve been around him for half days two or three times now. The only thing that seems different is that he can get really, really focused on something to the point of it being almost obsessive. Like rules or making sure something was worded correctly. But anytime it’s happened around me, I just distracted him with absolutely anything else for a second and then he moved on. He’s just a normal little guy that sometimes has what feels like a brain glitch over specifics.
I asked our friend what the pay would be so I could pass it along to the group. It’s $12 an hour during the day and $6 an hour for 8 hours each night. That comes to nearly $700 since they needed someone from 6am Friday morning through midnight Sunday night! That is a lot of babysitting…but it also is a nice chunk of change.
I Threw My Hat in the Ring
I let him know that I would cover it for sure, and that I would ask around to see who else would help me out. He was so excited that he’ll get real time with his wife! That made me smile. But I also thought I could split a couple of days with other friends and the weekend would be a little easier. Well, no one else is free this weekend, so it’ll just be me.
I babysat all through middle school, high school, and occasionally throughout college and these past 10 years. So I am ready for this weekend, but it was a little unexpected that I’ll be handling it alone.
Before anybody yells at me for taking money from a friend, he is supplemented by the state for babysitting expenses like this once in a while because of the autism. It’s called “respite care” money to allow parents of children with disabilities to get a little time away each month. But they haven’t been able to get any time away for a while, so it has built up enough to cover a 3 day trip.
Ideas for the Weekend
I’ll be staying at their house the whole time, so I know we’ll have access to their normal activities. There is a swimming pool (and life jackets), a netted trampoline, and their pets (a dog and 2 cats…lots of Claritin for me, lol). I also know that they can play a few board games already and have a ton of coloring supplies. The kids also know how to operate the tv and dvd player.
My general plan is to get them outside in the morning and late afternoon using the pool or trampoline. In my experience, half the battle of watching kids is making sure they have ample opportunities to burn off energy. During the super sunny parts of the day and at night, I’ll see what they want to do inside and take it from there.
I know I don’t need to actually keep them entertained 100% of the time since they all are a but autonomous already. I also made sure my friend and his wife know that I will consider this a complete success as long as their kids are alive and their house is still standing by the time they get home. I definitely am setting a low bar.
I do have 2-3 people on call that will drive up if necessary. They just didn’t want to babysit the whole weekend. So if there are any problems at all, I’ll have all of the parents’ info, my husband, and a couple of friends that have promised to help if needed. I’ll let you know next week how this turns out.
Also, my plan is to use the money from this weekend to pay for an 11 day trip in September to visit a couple of great blogging buddies out in Utah and Portland. I’ll be spending about 5-6 days in each place and just turn it into a blogging buddy adventure. I’ll let you know how that pans out too.
What would you suggest for a 3 day babysitting extravaganza?